Party lists given 3 years for updating

Party lists given 3 years for updating

Charter drafters have agreed to give political parties three years to update and verify their membership lists, failing which they will be disbanded.

The condition is underlined in a draft organic law on political parties, which is being worked out by the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).

CDC spokesman Norachit Sinhaseni said yesterday details of the draft will be announced and the draft sent to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) this week.

He reiterated the draft will not demand the resetting of political parties, adding present party leaders and executives will be kept intact.

However, new requirements have been drawn up regarding the parties' membership list system, which must be upgraded to prevent duplication of members, Mr Norachit said. The same requirement will be enforced on all parties regardless of their size to ensure fairness.

Under the draft, parties must send copies of their membership lists to the Election Commission within 30 days after the law takes effect, he said.

They would then be required to verify the membership of party members, a process that can be done either on the phone or by making visits to check. The process will take 120-150 days.

However, parties will be allowed to extend the time frame for compiling, updating and verifying their membership lists to three years. If the parties still fail to complete the process, they will have to be dissolved, he said.

He played down concerns from some quarters that some content of the 10 draft organic laws were too rigid and harsh on political parties, saying the draft laws are subject to revision, even by the NLA.

The spokesman insisted party leaders must be held accountable for false membership lists. Some party members had complained the punishment, which includes party dissolution, is unfair.

Mr Norachit said the organic law on political parties is now nearly complete. The CDC is in the process of reviewing each section to examine whether there are any duplicate elements.

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